Offense Leads Way for Lions in 99-95 Win

Photo (by Noah Riffe): Senior guard Jalen Archie-Davis goes to the hoop over Pitt-Greensburg's Tommy Arbuckle in the Lions' win on Wednesday night in the Adler Arena.
Photo (by Noah Riffe): Senior guard Jalen Archie-Davis goes to the hoop over Pitt-Greensburg's Tommy Arbuckle in the Lions' win on Wednesday night in the Adler Arena.

ALTOONA, Pa. – Penn State Altoona men's basketball used a strong offensive performance on Wednesday night to secure a 99-95 win over Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent Pitt-Greensburg in the Adler Arena.

The Lions (4-10, 3-5 AMCC) displayed efficiency on offense, shooting 55.4% from the field while having five different players score in double figures. Penn State Altoona was able to fend off Pitt-Greensburg (4-9, 1-5 AMCC) in the game's waning minutes to secure its second win in a row and snap a three-game losing streak at home.

"Very excited about tonight's win. It was a great way to get back in the win column at home, and hopefully we're starting to build some momentum within the conference," said Penn State Altoona head coach David McGreal. "Give credit to Pitt-Greensburg and coach Brody Jackson. They have a very, very talented team that can shoot the ball well. Cam Seigfreid is one of the best players in the conference, and he showed that tonight. But we were able to hold them off and make plays down the stretch, make free throws, and get a couple stops when we needed to."

Jalen Archie-Davis (Norcross, GA/Norcross) put up 23 points for the Lions, the highest point total in his Penn State Altoona career. He also finished with a game-high nine assists to go along with five rebounds and two steals.

"When Jalen plays well, we play well, and he was the man tonight. He was the difference," said McGreal. "He pushed the ball the way we always talk about pushing it, he finished at the rim, he made the pass when the shot wasn't there, and most importantly, he didn't turn the ball over."

Jack Kusters (Quakertown, PA/Lansdale Catholic) posted 20 points for the Lions, including making a trio of three-pointers, and Austin Krise (Allport, PA/West Branch) added 18 points on an 8-for-10 performance from the field. Cameron Gardner-Nicholson (Philadelphia, PA/Boys' Latin Charter) notched his team-best sixth double-double of the season with 17 points – including a 7-for-7 performance from the field – and a game-high 11 rebounds, and Y'shua Bragg (Pittsburgh, PA/Carrick) scored a season-high 15 points.

"Hats off to Cam for a great all-around performance. He was perfect from the floor, had another double-double, protected the rim, and had a handful of blocks, as well," McGreal stated. "Jack didn't have a great start, but he kept fighting and shooting, and he made a huge three-pointer near the end when the shot clock was winding down and also made some clutch free throws. Y'shua had a great game, as did others from the bench. It was a great overall performance from our bench, and we know we can't win without everybody."

Pitt-Greensburg was led by Cam Seigfreid, who put up a career-high 30 points for the Bobcats while adding four assists and four steals. JoJo France and Matt Johnson added 16 points apiece, and Kyle Bondi scored 10 points.

Pitt-Greensburg led 10-8 six minutes into the game, helped by three-pointers from Johnson and Seigfreid. Seigfreid's layup and foul shot at 9:56 put the visitors up by one, 21-20.

But Penn State Altoona pulled ahead in the second part of the first half, en route to a 48-39 lead at the break.

Buckets from Archie-Davis, Gardner-Nicholson, and Kusters gave the Lions a 26-21 advantage by 8:14. Danny Browne's (Downingtown, PA/Bishop Shananhan) layup and two Archie-Davis free throws upped Penn State Altoona's lead to 34-26 by the 5:26 mark, and a three-point field goal and three-point play from Archie-Davis helped to close the half out for the Lions.

Penn State Altoona maintained its lead during the second half while fending off several pushes from Pitt-Greensburg.

Gardner-Nicholson's score at 16:26 put the Lions up by 10, 55-45. But the Bobcats outscored Penn State Altoona 17-9 over the next six minutes to close the difference to two points, getting eight points from Seigfreid during that stretch.

Penn State Altoona bounced back, however, getting two layups from Archie-Davis to widen the gap. Later, the Lions scored on four consecutive possessions, getting a three-pointer from Kusters and baskets from Marshall Higley (Sayre, PA/Sayre), Archie-Davis, and Krise to increase their lead to 76-69 by 7:26. Krise's layup and free throw at 5:57 made it 81-72, and Bragg's dunk 30 seconds later gave Penn State Altoona its largest lead of the game, 85-72.

The Bobcats again fought back to tighten the score. Seigfreid's layup at 4:03 narrowed the Lions' lead to 87-81, and two foul shots by France at 1:58 made it 92-88. A pair of layups from Johnson brought Pitt-Greensburg to within three points, 95-92, with 25 seconds remaining.

But Kusters helped to ice the game by going 4-for-4 from the foul line within the final 16 seconds of the game, and the Lions' defense limited Pitt-Greensburg to a single, last-second three-pointer.

Penn State Altoona finished the game with a dominant 54-28 advantage in points in the paint, and they also outscored Pitt-Greensburg 18-7 in transition opportunities.

Next, Lions basketball will host AMCC opponent Hilbert College in the Adler Arena this Saturday, January 12 at 3:00 p.m.

"Now, we set our sights on Hilbert," said McGreal. "Just like we talked about in the locker room, we have some revenge in mind for them. They ended our season in the playoffs last year, and we are going to be ready for them."